The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is widely recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species – in 2015, it was updated three times.
Sometimes it can feel intimidating when you get inspired to help in conservation, especially once you understand the urgency, the overwhelming numbers and extent of the need – the List currently includes 79,837 assessed species, of which 23,250 are threatened with extinction, with habitat loss and degradation identified as the main threat to more than 80% of species assessed.
“How can I help,” What can I do,” are common questions you may find yourself asking, but it doesn’t always have to be complicated or expensive. Citizen science is gaining popularity in conservation efforts globally since the crucial data and insights collected by citizen scientists (usually the public), are used in scientific research, and also engages people in conservation through providing tangible assistance.
The Great Grevy’s Rally Calls On Citizen Scientists
The endangered Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi), which is taller than the Plains Zebra, has narrower stripes, a white belly and large rounded ears and has an estimated population of only 2,800 in the wild (primarily in Kenya with few in Ethiopia).
For the first time, a national census of the endangered Grevy’s Zebra will be held in Kenya on 30th-31st of January, 2016. The collected data will be used in updating the existing database (as of November 2015 contains 23,983 images of Grevy’s Zebra) and populate the new Image Based Ecological Information System and identify future conservation strategies.
The success of The Great Grevy’s Rally will depend greatly on the public’s participation. So if you’re someone who’s always wanted to help – this is your chance!
How You Can Help
If you know how to operate a digital camera and can spot different animals – you’re perfect for the job!
Register as citizen scientists and join academics, conservationists and local community members capture Grevy’s Zebras on your GPS enabled camera (provided by organizers for the two days). The only thing you need to keep in mind, for uniformity, is to take pictures of only the right flank of the Grevy’s Zebra.
The Great Grevy’s Rally will be taking place in Nanyuki, Kenya and there will be many camping and lodging options – there are affordable camping options that begin as low as KSh 400 per night. The Registration fee is KSh 2,000 per vehicle team and each member of your team must provide proof of medical evacuation or AMREF air evacuation coverage at time of registration. If you don’t have proof of medical evacuation, AMREF air evacuation annual coverage will be available for purchase on Friday, 29th of January for KSh 2,000 to KSh 2,500 at the registration desk at Nanyuki Sports Club.
If you would like to help, I would suggest registering as soon as possible. The first teams of citizen scientists will be able to reserve a specific location to conduct their census and book their preferred accommodation.
For more information on how you can register, complete the form here.